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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 4, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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homeland security to make a point with the president. this past weekend isis beheaded a japanese contractor and yet republicans are willing to shut down homeland security. to make a point. last week at a hotel in libya an american was killed in an attack by isis, and yet colleagues on the other side of the aisle are willing to shut down homeland security in order to make a political point. last month, 11 people were killed in a terrorist strike against america's oldest ally, france and yet republicans are willing to shut down homeland security. in november, a canadian soldier was killed in an attack near canadian parliament just 60 miles from the u.s. border. we in michigan, we're on that
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border that northern border. and yet republicans are willing to shut down homeland security. in fact, we heard colleagues in the house republicans saying it really wouldn't be that big a deal to shut down homeland security. really? really? is anybody looking -- reading the paper looking at the news, looking at what's happening every day around us? it wouldn't be a problem to shut down homeland security? that's stunning. michigan has the busiest northern border crossing in the country in detroit the biggest northern border crossing, for commerce, for product for people and we rely on our customs and border patrol every single day. talk about folks on the front lines of protecting us.
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customs, border security, airport security, police and fire. we have coast guard. we have all of those who are on the front line of protecting our families in america. that's what we're debating. do we play games with that, hold homeland security hostage because of a debate with the president about another issue or do we fund homeland security, then have that debate? we can do it immediately same day, right after. fund homeland security efforts and then immediately the republican leader can call up a bill any bill he wants on immigration, and we will have that debate. unfortunately, what is happening is with terrorist threats all around us, republicans are willing to shut down homeland
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security. in west africa, they are hoping to inspire acts of terror against americans. we know what they have done. and yet here we're debating whether or not homeland security is going to be shut down. mr. president, in the months to come, we will need all of the hardworking men and women that work in every part of that agency to be on full speed to protect us. but unless republican colleagues are willing to support a spending bill and get that done right away we're going to see the department of homeland security management and headquarters stop functioning or some 30,000 employees will be flowgd people being asked -- furloughed, people being asked to work without pay. talk about jobs for people.
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in detroit alone i mean, we all over michigan get firefighter grants and right now the budget has already started. and we have 150 firefighters in the city of detroit alone whose ongoing funding has been stalled. we have firefighters all across michigan. we have very important law enforcement grants all over michigan that at the moment are on hold and can't go forward. we're talking about disrupting programs used to detect weapons of mass destruction the training of local law enforcement officers who are on the front lines of our defense. this makes no sense. now, it would be one thing if our republican colleagues were in the minority and they felt there was the only way we could have the debate that they were going to have is to tie the two
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together but that's not the case. my republican colleagues are in the majority. we can pass homeland security together 100-0 and then get on to whatever immigration debate the majority wants to have whatever anything else. we don't have to hold homeland security funding hostage in order to do it. this past august, our defense secretary said of isis they are as sophisticated and well funded as any group that we have seen. they're beyond just a terrorist group. so when you think about it, here we are talking about a well-funded terrorist group at the same time in america we are debating whether to fund at all our homeland security agencies
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that keep us safe from isis and other terrorist threats. so i would implore republican colleagues to join with us. regardless of the passion on this other issue we can debate it. it can be addressed. there are republican majorities in the house and the senate that can debate the president's actions, debate anything, for that matter, but certainly on immigration at any moment. we do not have to hold the funding for our national defense on our homeland hostage to do it. i would encourage that we get on with the business of passing the funding. thank you mr. president. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate stands adjourned until 10:30 a.m.
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would have block the president's executive order. the house is already passed the bill, but president obama said he would veto the legislation if it reaches his desk. earlier today before the procedural vote to replace senators came to the floor to discuss the homeland security spending bill. we will begin with senate majority whip john cornyn. mr. president yesterday, our friends across the aisle blocked -- filibustered really, a funding a $40 billion funding bill that
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would have paid the f >> of funding bill that would have paid the funds necessary to keep the department of homeland security up and running to the rest of the fiscal year. i understand that they have some differences over the content of the legislation that the house passed, but it is undeniable the house acted responsibly by passing this appropriation bill particularly at the time of heightened security concerns not only hear at home but around the world. of course the part that confused me the most is our democratic friends said, well we don't want to debate the bill. what what we want is a claim dhs appropriations bill. they want to get to the end of the process without even starting which strikes me as odd.
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as i pointed out last week during the senate debate on the keystone xl pipeline senator durbin spoke very sincerely in support of the process. we did not all agree that the keystone pipeline bill should be passed but we had an open amendment process that allowed everyone to express they're.of view and get votes on amendments up or down before concluding that peace of legislation of course this was something that i think the most notable part of was we had more votes in the united states senate during the three weeks we were on the keystone xl pipeline than all of last year. it it was amazing to me to see that the democratic the senate minority worked so hard to marshal they're caucus together to block debate on
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this $40 billion appropriation bill to fund the department of homeland security. especially especially considering the promise of the senate from illinois to continue to work with us to foster an open debate process and an open opportunity on both sides of the aisle to offer good ideas and put them up for a vote. it was also amazing to see this outcome considering what so many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle said last fall when the president made his executive action on immigration. again i said yesterday we are not upset with people seeking a better life here in the united states. we are asking for legal process.
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we are we are very upset with the president violating his oath of office and purporting to make unconstitutional executive orders. and that is the problem and what the house is focused on. the fact is, this president's actions were a stunning display of executive overreach. you don't have to take my word for it. take his word for it at least the 1st 22 times he talked about it. he said he did not have the authority to do it 22 times. then there is the view of some of our colleagues in the minority. for example the senior senator from west virginia put it simply when he expressed the feeling of a lot of democrats when he said, i wish he would not do it. this was this was echoed in a straightforward manner from the junior senator from minnesota who said, i have concerns about executive action.
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of course, it is easy to understand why. this is a uniquely legislative responsibility. the president does not have the authority to make laws on his own. at least that used to be his position. the senior senator from missouri said of the president's unilateral action "how this is coming about makes me uncomfortable and i think it probably makes most missourians uncomfortable. "the public opinion i have seen bears that comment out. many people many people think we need to fix a broken immigration system, the majority of people disagree with the way the president has tried to act by doing this unilaterally or purporting to do so. i have good news for senator mccaskill franken the house of representatives has passed a peace of
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legislation that addresses they're concerns and should give them some comfort. the legislation we're trying to open debate on fully funds the department of homeland security while reining in the president's unconstitutional actions. this is one of the tools available to the united states congress using these legislative writers on appropriation to express disapproval and defined certain acts by the executive. i will renew my request to senator reid, the democratic leader from yesterday and asked the assistant minority leader to honor his commitment that he made when we were debating the keystone xl pipeline. please work with us to
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achieve at least debate on the floor if not some significant legislation. but to throw a fit and say we refuse to even start debate on legislation strikes me as more of a political move than a legislative solution. i asked my friends on the other side of the aisle who so boldly stood up to express their concerns with the president's executive actions to again stand up to there own leaders and to join us and reining in the president's executive overreach and to not hold hostage the $40 billion $40 billion that the house has appropriated to help fund the department of homeland security through the end of the fiscal year. if if the parts of the house bill are not like and parts that i have i have concerns over and hope we have a chance to vote on but that is the way
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the senate and house are supposed to relate to one another. the house the house passes legislation, the senate does so, and if they are different and it reconciled in a conference committee or through a back and forth before they go to the president but to just throw a fit and say we refuse to do our job of legislating because you don't like where we are starting to me is extraordinarily counterproductive and is an unfortunate return to the dysfunction that i i believe the voters repudiated on november 4. we will we will see whether there is a different.of view. i know the majority leader will come back to the floor and asked to reconsider the vote yesterday.
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so their will be another opportunity to reconsider the vote blocking even beginning considering legislation and i hope they will reconsider and join us in trying to come up with a consensus solution. mr. pres., on another another note i have 11 unanimous consent request for committees to need. these meet. these have been approved by the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these be agreed to and printed in the record. >> without objection. >> with that, that i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum i did not see my friend from missouri here. >> the senator from missouri >> mr. pres., want to follow-up to follow up on what the majority whip has been talking about.
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clearly the country is and should be concerned by the president's unilateral executive action on immigration. he announced this action november the 20th of last year. the majority whip has already gone down the list of a number of colleagues who said this is the wrong way to do this. the house happens to agree and has passed legislation that agrees this is the wrong way to do it. frankly, if their is a better remedy it we will not be found without debate and if you don't come to the floor and say here is how we think the bill should be changed. this clearly -- the action taken last november by the president was clearly an executive overreach and upfront i believe, to the
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rule of law and the constitution, article two section three which states the president should take care that the laws be faithfully executed. that is right out of the constitution but it could not be clearer to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. that is why we call the president the executive. his job is not to make the law not to rule as a a court word. his job is to execute the law. the question here is does the law matter were not. the question here is what do we do when the house of representatives has passed a spending bill that would allow the funding for the us department of homeland security for the rest of the fiscal year between now and september 30. they are bill does try to stop president obama's executive amnesty plant.
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if if you believe what you read that people have said a substantial majority of the senate agrees that the president should not have done what he did. what is our obligation to try to undo that? the house is done there part. the president himself said 22 times that he did not have the authority to do what he eventually did. this is one case where i agree with the president 42 times. if anyone is thinking i don't agree with them, here is 22 times the 22 times he said he can't or couldn't do what he eventually decided to do. what was that? he said he cannot unilaterally change the country's immigration law. he did not have that authority. he did not have that authority on november 20, 2014 when he took actions
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that were clearly designed not to enforce the law and he does not have that authority now. the house sent over a bill trying to clarify the president does not have that authority. the the legislative branch of the government, the house of representatives and the senate. not whoever gets to act last. occasionally the president says, i will take executive action if the congress does not do its job. job. it is the job of the congress to pass laws, not the president. if he wants to repeal or change a law no one is in a better a better position than the president to encourage congress to do that but he does not have the default option of if the congress does not act by some certain date i will do it myself. that is not in the constitution.
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i continue i continue to believe the house passed a department of homeland security funding bill that is the way to send a message a message to the president he cannot act unilaterally. i am not giving up on winning over six democrats in the senate that clearly we need. everyone understands the importance of 60 votes in the senate. their are 54 republicans but they're are more than six democrats who said they did not agree with what the president did. in in all cases they say we agree with the funding levels. it seems it seems to me those two things come together pretty nicely you get a chance by debating this bill to undo what the president did and to fund the department of homeland security.
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there are at least six democrats who said those are two different things they are for tomorrow which is the case where we need to do that by passing the house measure which ensures spending at an important time with critical needs of homeland security but also would stop the president's illegal amnesty. we should not let that stand you don't no where these legislative fights lineup until you have them. maybe that maybe that is why no democrat was willing to have this debate. maybe they don't no what happens if attention is called to the past decisions they have had. you you don't no how these legislative battles work out if you don't have them. we need to have this one. leader mcconnell said our 1st choice is to try to pass the house bill.
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mr. president the law should be followed. advocate that it be repealed or changed not ignored. the ignore clause in the constitution does not exist. there is no ability of the executive to do that. the united the united states is founded on rule of law every trade agreement, all our relationships with other countries this is a country where you can look at the law and rely, no matter what your status on the law itself. the president is to take care that the law is faithfully executed yet president obama has repeatedly found ways to circumvent congress by picking and choosing which laws to enforce. in the case of the overwhelmingly complicated healthcare law picking and
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choosing what dates the law is to be complied with even though the law has very clear other dates. this is a bill the president was a major advocate of. he he had a chance to put dates in there and did not. i recently reintroduced the enforce the law act to ensure that the president cannot continue to blatantly not do what the law says has to be done. this is a bill introduced in the last congress where it passed the house with a bipartisan vote. and the last congress we were not allowed to vote on it. apparently a number of my colleagues here think we are no longer allowed to vote on or debate bills.
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this was not approving anything except debating the bill. that is what we should be moving toward now so we can find this part of the government that the president complicated funding for with his action last november. it permits the congress if the congress believes the president is not enforcing law to go to court and not wait months and years for an aggrieved citizen to go to court with they're own money but the congress can go to court early and let the judge decide if the law is being enforced as written or not. it would reestablish the proper limits of the executive branch restore checks and balances and provide a defender of citizens who in their
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capacity, don't have to defend the government by themselves if the congress believes the president has taken authority that he does not have or is enforcing law in a way that was not intended. we have to stand up for the rule of law. i have joined in a court case supporting the state of texas suing the administration over what they believe is all kinds of added expenses put on them by the president's power grab in deciding which immigration laws would be enforced and which should not. we were signatories to this brief filed in december. twenty-four house members members joined us including the chairman of the judiciary committee saying we agree with these states that many responsibilities have been placed upon them because the president chose
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not to enforce law as written. twenty-six. twenty-six states have joined onto that lawsuit filed by the state of texas and i look forward to that the conclusion because i think the judge is likely to decide that their is not the selectivity of which laws you enforce that the president has implied and their are great costs created for states as a result. every senator in this chamber has a constitutional obligation to curb unilateral -- unilateral executive overreach. we have a chance to do that. this whole issue goes to the very heart of the system of checks and balances in our country and reiterates the importance of the constitution following the constitution adhering to the rule of law. i i would like to see us have a chance to do that
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as this department of homeland security funding bill should and eventually i am confident, come to the floor. i you. >> madam president. >> the senator from new york >> it is good to follow my good friend. i don't agree with him but he is a fine man. now i rise to dispel attempts by the other side of the aisle to dodge responsibility for funding the homeland security department in a responsible way. here is what is happening. the right wing of the republican party is risking the department of homeland security shutdown to get there way on immigration. they they are saying, take a hard right stance on immigration always will not fund national security.
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most americans do not agree with that you and therefore rational immigration policy the large majority in this body voted on that in 2013. you have a small group led by the junior senator from texas who said it is our way or we are going to shut down one of the premier agencies dedicated to security. as a a engagement of colloquy with my good friend from texas the majority leader republican colleagues have the majority and can debate immigration anytime they want and we welcome it. we we think the american people are on our side. .. the head not only of us, but of the american people. don't do what we, a narrow
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minority want or we're going to shut down the department of homeland security at a time when security is of utmost importance given what's happened around the world, what we just saw happen to the jordanian pilot yesterday. this strategy makes no sense. the junior senator from texas is leading his party at best into a cul-de-sac. at worst over a cliff. we are not going to be taken hostage. and if he thinks -- i >> >> so we are saying to the
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other side now the you have seen the foot when he had shown speaker boehner that we cannot pass these bills for in the senate, i get real, i say get real. to my friend the majority leader and the speaker of the house. roll up your sleeves, let's work out department of homeland security bill to passage and not hold the agency hostage unless not just three new every couple of months. the secretary of dhl said nestor day tavis why giving 5 miles of gas at a time does not work. get real. let's negotiate the deal just spending bill. i know our senator from maryland our senator from
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new hampshire the ranking member of the homelands security are eager to pass a bill that we can agree on to pass homeland's security. then we can debate immigration but no hostage taking. no bullying if you don't do what my will hurt innocent people. it did not work in 2013 when the republican numbers plummeted and it will not work today. there will not allow a government shutdown. we will not allow hostage taking. we'll ask our colleagues to do things the way they used to be done. they have the floor and candidates any issue they want and move forward.
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now i would say one other thing to my republican -- republican colleagues. they had to tide it may not and i say that to speaker boehner as well. the two-year senator from texas has you in a not now you have to find a way to untangle the be will not be bullied or told we have to negotiate because you seek to hurt innocent people and our security we will move forward. so let me suggest a way to go forward to put a good clean homeland's security bill on the floor and make america secure. then separate the we are happy to debate immigration to the republicans' part content. but stopped this governed by a crisis mentality especially when national
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security gains in the balance. so i urge speaker boehner and the senator mcconnell to come to their senses with ending the wild goose chase to vote. >> madame president i come to the floor as my position of the vice chair of the appropriations committee to urge the senate to pass a clean plan security appropriations bill. yesterday the senate rejected a procedural vote to take up the host homeland security funding bill. madam president it is not about one builders is another but there are two distinct differences the house bill has funding through fiscal year 2015 to take care of every single agency under the department
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of homeland security to protect the nation. at the same time it is loaded with five immigration wires because the president said if legislation to fund homeland's security passes with these five immigration writers he will veto the bill the president wants to fund an appropriations bill. so do i.. the whole man security bill is taken up by the senate was a delay tactic. we would talk, a debate, and after we get lots of amendments it would go to the president and then after all is said and done time to
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pass the funding for the homeland. yesterday's the entire world was gripped with poignancy and sorrow for about the ghoulish murder of a jordanian pilot. the threat of terrorism is and though world. attacks with the possibility of an old -- alone will to their country and by isil or a cyberattack because we dare fight back against isil or we are willing to challenge with the other international creditors. that is what the department of romance security does. the department the defense for texas over there the department of romance security protects us here.
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after 9/11 in a our country's history that congress came together shortly to pass legislation to create the department of homeland's security to take every agency that is involved to protect the homeland under one umbrella trade to lookout for them. every day we asked men and women who serve in the coast guard with border control of customs making sure products like counterfeit drugs are not crossing our borders. we need to make sure we don't have day shutdown when the funding expires february february 27. in december when i chaired
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that committee in the closing hours of congress i worked with my subcommittee chairman and vice-chairman of romance security -- romance security to put together a crucial bill to invest in agencies that protect us. $1 billion more than the continuing resolution we could have taken that bill up then but there was the desire of the controversy over the president taking executive action with immigration not to do it. so here we are in very it is our turn to fund the cleanup homeland security bill. is a serious issue and it
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deserves serious debate but with a series of writers with a funding bill but rather take up immigration in separately. i warned colleagues in the last congress this senate-passed a comprehensive immigration bill only to have it die in the house. so we say have the house pick it up and let's have a real debate but it in the meantime to find a home and security bill. >> every past head of homeland security has urged the senate to pass a separate bill. tom ridge, the original chief executive of this agency michael chertoff also
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serving under president bush said janet napolitano also call its and so am i.. madam president our coast guard is out there safeguarding the waterways. we love our coastguard in maryland because number one they're always there for search and rescue. they're always there to protect the bay whether against a possible oil spill or drug dealers there there. we all recall how the rescue people and how they did every day. secret services in the process they need to protect the president but they're also out there fighting credit-card fraud and then
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the cyberwarriors with a critical infrastructure the banking hands the power grid. then there is bela -- steve of responding and one program i am so proud of his the fire grant program is a competitive grants program not an earmark but competitive graniteware local fire departments particularly those in the rural communities can apply for a grant to buy the necessary equipment they need to protect them so they protect us. madam president you are familiar with this in the grass cutter now for a firefighter. said telecommunications, the
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fire retardant, that can cost as much as 1,000 or $2,000 per firefighter. you can do this with fish fries and a chicken dinners. so madame president i just say pass a clean homeland's security bill to safeguard our water ways to make sure we are protecting our homeland to move to a clean bill. >> was very pleased to hiller -- to hear the ranking member was done such great work to hold a bipartisan agreement that was negotiated last december with the chairman of the house appropriations committee.
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that was the bill to fund the efforts of department f0000000 security to keep people safe to protect from cybersecurity threats i want to hear a comment that was made into the homeland security subcommittee chairman "john carter". when asked about the outcome of this debate on funding said department of homeland security his comment was ultimately there may be a clean bill. but senator mikulski if the chair of the house are in acknowledging that
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ultimately to do what was negotiated bayou doesn't it make sense we should get a clean bill done now so there is certainty for the department of homeland's security? so they can continue and the threats to national security. end to pledge dash risk people in this country to have an ideological concern about this bill. >> thanks for bringing for those comments to my attention. and actually that comments by representative carter. we have a sense of urgency with the homeland's security
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bill the terrorist and the bad guys with organized crime whether the terrorist watching us, and they say they're so busy fighting each other they don't have time to think about fighting for ourselves. but they are laughing at us while the squabble and dribble and quibble they are out there fighting and plotting against us. as i stare when dash say to the chair that this is a sense the urgency. as he comes to the closing hours of the bill a remarkable bipartisan consensus left to our own analysis to be stewards of a taxpayer dollar there was
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widespread bipartisan agreement. the by and large we knew exactly the best way to do it and we did it with in the allocation and got the job done. i feel a great sense of urgency because while they are plotting against us we are busy figuring out how to fight each other. >> we agree with the ranking member and we would say the conference of mayors ever just to pass a clean bill to fund the department of of land security we heard from the emergency managers across the land with the risk for disaster relief and
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with the national association of counties earning the passage of a clean bill to ensure the safety of our communities could be maintained. so to not put a risk these communities the efforts going on across the country to keep the nation safe. because there are those that during three at the president about the executive action. we should have that debate separately. to make sure there is no risk to our citizens. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. >> the senate when non to block the bill from going forward. 60 votes were needed with no democrat voting to a
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variance the measure. the only republican to join the democrats and vote no. >> of a congress with to with ministrations having is carter viewed on capitol hill? >> and some of these are expected to have any easy confirmation for the armed services committee to say they didn't expect this to be a focus on him or his credentials. so we see this more as a
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chance to criticize obama on national security issues. >> is sounds like chairman mccain and carter, the nominee were an agreement in terms of getting rid of the sequestered with the spending caps. how do they do that? >> that is the big question. you heard of the house side they will hammer that with fiscal 2015 and that that could cripple the military but we have not see much of the alternative plan that the military has to have that money and reheard carter say it is a foolish plan to harm security and mccain says he wants to
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see it on. >> ask about our ring the ukrainian rubbles what did he say about the current pentagon? >> he was a little fuzzy to support the idea and looking into it more as it was several different issues the pentagon right now is in the wait and see mode to see when they get into office. >> with the sexual harassment you treated about ashes carter's response that he called the problem widespread u.s. society but particular offensive in the military but the senate has tried to do that with the defense authorization in changing pentagon policy and
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what we know of ashton carter intentions in this area? >> he said clearly he wants to be aggressive, and look for ways to attack the problem with a way that's what they have done already and the senator tried to come now to reverse the conversation with the legislation that she proposed with the ongoing fight between in the two of them to take the issue at of military commanders it is a controversial point. but this is the issue he is looking at and said this is a wider problem than military but it is because of the teamwork and camaraderie. >> host: back to chairman
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mccain he complained about the lack of national. >> he has ever the obamacare administration especially he took over last year. under having a lack of a coherent strategy. 98 f continued presence to combat terrorist worldwide with the strategy of afghanistan and how long the troops should be there. secretary carter is still the nominee and a lot of his answers were i will look into that if it doesn't look right and i will give different advice but and i
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plan on stepping in. >> you can follow his reporting on twitter. thank you for the update. >> what impact has a father and brother who was served as president way on your decision to potentially run? >> on one level to have a front row seat to watch history unfold to give me a perspective that is helpful. is an interesting challenge.
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this may be the place to be applied. to go beyond the consideration of running i would have to deal with this into the opportunity to share who i am so people began to offer ideas they think i am on my side with the issues i am passionate about will help them rise up. is a compelling strategy but that is the god's honest truth. as governor so from their busy in the first time which by the way if you're young people in the crowd is always better to run against
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a bad candidate versus a good candidate i did that in 1994 but better luck next time. and in the experience i've space had to share my heart so i have a deeply held views with education. so with the attack started they did not shrug their shoulders for the you have to care for people before you get the vote. 1998 i had the same views but i visited all the schools stress me by the end people they knew i was not just the brother of george w. or the son of my beloved dad. i was real person. so that experience on a national scale is part of the strategy.
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assure six but 5 inches into a hundred 50 pounds then we will negotiate. i love my brother think he has been a great president does not bother me a bit but i know for a fact to go beyond the consideration i have to do it on my own.
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[inaudible conversations] good afternoon. is the pleasure to welcome everyone to the second annual lecture to the graduating class.
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the excitement here is extraordinary. there were long lines we have an overflow room we have people in the front rows with the notorious t-shirts. [laughter] and we are all gathered here and look like a big round of applause for our extraordinary speaker justice ginsburg. [cheers and applause] >> the idea behind is a lecture is an opportunity for our graduating students to hear from a giant escher reflects on her career and offers advice to graduating students i cannot imagine a better speaker because we
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will talk about her career we will not go into long introduction it would be completely unnecessary with this group but it is wonderful to have you here because you are someone who was not only a great justice but someone who is a historic figure because of your work for gender equity and because your wonderful member of this community law that you come here so often and to work garner authorized biography and of course, your late husband was the most beloved member of this faculty. welcome. >> thank you. may i extend my congratulations
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congratulations for graduating from this law school. and i am proud to say to me it shareholder of former law clerk of mind david is here today here at georgetown. be sure to attend his class's. [laughter] cement we were on this stage not too long ago with professor albert the first holder of the ginzberg chair. is day grace -- is great.
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welcome back. i would like to start by talking about your career. you grow up in brooklyn and went to cornell. for all of us as they start their legal career win did you realize you wanted to be a lawyer? teetoo go to college with that idea? >> in the ancient days when i was going to college fell lal was not a welcoming profession for women. so i was stressed being independent which was a high-school history teacher and a good steady job i did not think about the law until i was at cornell as a
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professor of constitutional law and wanted me to be aware of the bad times in the heyday of joseph mccarthy the saw a communist in every corner and tour appreciate the people on the activities committee and to
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protect against self-incrimination. into practice the profession to do some good with society that made me decide that if there had any talent in the world i would be a great diva. [laughter]
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but sadly i was greeted as a sparrow and not a robber in. i am very monotone. [laughter] but then i married marty a week after i graduated and then to say to have a man to support her. >> and you met marty at cornell? my first in his second.
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we met because we have friends who sought we might like each other. he had a girlfriend and i had a boyfriend it was a long cold week at cornell. [laughter] that is how we started out. [laughter] and then ginsberg was ever so much smarter than my boyfriend. [laughter] >> then you got married and you went to law school. >> marty did not have a stellar career at cornell and major did in golf. he was going to go into
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premed. >> but i heard in an interview with the academic records. >> looking at it like a scroll. [laughter] >> what was she like in moscow? >> the very first year there
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were nine of us they felt they were bitterly on trial. and we felt all eyes were on us. that only for ourselves we felt we were on display in the classroom. and he said one day about
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expanding the enrollment of women in to say if you want a crisp white -- right answer but then he said so i was unprepared. [laughter] one of the biggest challenges that we have. but only one of them had a women's bathroom. and to use the restaurant during a class but the
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remarkable thing about it will never thought to mask it was just the way things were. so we would put senator sheets for permanent jobs that was the same way at columbia. there was a wonderful place matatus but. >> why did the transfer to columbia? >> he had cancer in there was no chemotherapy with a
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huge operation and our daughter was born 14 months before i started law school. so marty tried to get a job in the foster an area -- the boston area and had a great opportunity. i did not want to be of a single mom and we did not know how long marty would live. so we would not be separated that last year. sweat to the deed of the harvard law school and said if i successfully complete my third year at columbia will you give me a harvard degree? he said absolutely not.
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a woman was my classmate at cornell transferred in a second year with a henri's say by how far the first year is the most important but fast forward coming into harvard law school every year she said to have a harvard law school degree? and marty said holdout for
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the honorary degree. [laughter] you can rewrite history could i do have an honorary degree. from 2011. >> belatedly. [laughter] if you were at the top of your class at harvard or columbia? what was it like looking for work? you talk about how hard it was as women don't apply for many jobs. the with my ever supportive mother-in-law and i was stunned that no one was interested with a downtown
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office. those to ended up not giving me an offer. but it was wonderful. he was determined to get me a job and he called every federal judge in the district they were reticent. the reason was some of them could overcome the fact the woman but not any of the aum i was the mother of a four year-old. and i could not stay late
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for two weekends but i compensated and that is how was it was to get the first job and that was very hard. when you got it you did it very well. but justice o'connor also tells a story she was at the top of her class. says she volunteered to work for a county attorney at the end of a four month period if you think i am worth it put me on the payroll that is dash she got her first job. to stay and offers you can refuse. give her a chance and she doesn't succeed there are
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young men in her class that will step bin to carry her through. and then the stick was if you don't give her a chance i will not recommend another columbia student. [laughter] i never knew that until years and years later. he had two daughters into must have been taking what he would like their opportunities to be. in those days in the southern district they would hire women in u.s. attorney's office there were strictly forbidden in the criminal division in the
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excuse was they have to deal with all the tough types and the women are not up to that. had you seen the lawyers that the goal a debtor representing? [laughter] >> and then you were a clerk and what did you do after? >> by that time i could have worked for any number of downtown firms. if i was to go to one of them a black school professor said how would you like to write a book about civil procedure?
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[laughter] it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity. in many ways. i was 27 or 28 at the time. our have something that i wrote between hardcover and marty and i had been married eight years and i had never lived alone and wanted to know what it would be like and marty was indulgent enough when i left in may and she joined after first grade was over.
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so i had a taste of what living alone was like. that was my eight year itch. [laughter] which i never had after that so i spent two years on that project. columbia had a project on an international procedure and part of that was writing books about different systems. and to make those more accommodating for those who want to find evidence in the united states so after that
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and where marty was affiliated a famous columbia professor over law school jobs gasify would see him in his office and said reuss what is your game to bring on here when you are a columbia graduate? i thought what is he talking about? then i remembered harvard sent for review interested fill this out. and i never gave another thought. at that time there were exactly 14 women in law
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schools across the country. so i jumped to the wrong conclusion i said:this is interested in me but we said rutgers the state univ. that is so i got my first teaching job. then i had clive ferguson when i left rutgers to become dean of the howard law school. rutgers tried to replace him with another african-american man so the
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next best thing is how i got my first teaching job. the dean was very good. he said you know, it is a state university will have to take a cut in salary. so i asked how much and the answer is he has a wife and two children to support. so let with other women at the campus title seven was
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not on the books until the year after but there was the equal pay act the very year. so the women got together to brought the equal pay case which after many years was settled. and every woman guy a substantial raise a think 6,000 was the lowest. and that was real money. >> host: and that experience focused on gender equality cases after you started teaching? >> i did not set my own
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agenda at all. there were two forces operating. with the students wanted to have a course i thought it was the pretty good idea i went to the library and read every federal decision today means precious little. and then the coming to the aclu and schoolteachers were
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forced out. because after all the children listen think that about the teachers and if the school system once you back they will call you back. so the women were complaining and the complaint was we're ready willing and able to work. there is no reason to be forced out. to be the new anti-discrimination laws. for those that had good health insurance in their
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work for the lipton tea company. to say it is only available to the male. but rockers the selfie undergraduates there is a very fine women's college. and his son in a daughter.
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in thank goodness tonight have to make a federal case because the deal was so keen on the idea. they saw immediately then we will upgrade and the complaints coming into the aclu and this is beginning to happen with that lot cost and the first one was a yale.
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and when we have a first publish case for the nation and a brilliant lawyer was the general counsel. he spotted that that would be the turning point. said it was the classification. so this case it was about a
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woman but then the boy got to be a teenager he said now he needs to be prepared. level, part of the story short but one day he to tell the rifle and killed himself. for a sentimental reasons he had a guitar and some close to the record collection and then applied to be the a minister but the probate
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court said it leaves me no choice akeley administered for the decedent's the mail must be heard. it is that simple. so let me compare in 1971 and decided by unanimous court case and in 1961 with a liberal justice and in the
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white today recall her a battered woman. she was abused by her philandering husband and one day he humiliated her. she was beside herself. and she saw her son's baseball bat in the corner and took it and hit him on the head he fell to the ground. it was the end of his life and begin the of the murder prosecution. the idea was women would better understand the rage that i felt but hillsboro
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county florida on those days did not put women on the jury. so therefore they don't need to be distracted. >> but the lawyers try to get the court to understand that citizens have obligations. one is to participate by serving on juries. . .
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>> she had a healthy presidency. she went to the hospital and the doctor came out and said you have a healthy baby boy but your wife died of an embolism. and so stephen vowed that he would not work full time until this child was in school full
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time. and he figured he could make it between social security benefits and what he was allowed to earn on top of those benefits. and he went there to apply for what he thought were benefits for a sole surviving parent and so he was very sad. these were mothers things, these were not available for fathers. so in his case we argued that first it was discrimination against women because women were required to pay the same social security taxes that men pay and this includes the protection as well. and then there was discrimination against the male as the parent. and men would not have the opportunity in this way for the
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children. and then to say it was a unanimous judgment and the majority thought it was the discrimination that started in a couple of them thought it was discrimination as well. and one that has been a justice became my first coworker, and he said this is purely arbitrary from the point of view of the baby. and that includes a sole surviving parent only if that parent is female and not male. and so that was -- that was gender discrimination that affected everyone bad for the women come about for the children, bad for men. the idea was to break down this
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into home and childcare and mothers. and to work outside the home. and there were a great deal of her's -- the rapidity was going through the states that was based upon this model and it took away this and made it a worker and a taxpayer and a parent. [inaudible] >> was the course of the to your
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arguments? and specifically i'm thinking mostly in terms of the oral arguments. >> well, they didn't ask as many questions as i thought they would. [laughter] [inaudible] there was one case as well. [laughter] [inaudible] my precious half-hour was up and maybe there was a half minute left. and so i answered this. we went on for five minutes. to be honest half an hour. [laughter] [inaudible] and so yes, to a point.
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but the last case was in 1978. it was another one of the jury will driven cases. this was in missouri. and i had just finished my argument and was about to sit down content that i had made all of the essential points when the justice said and so will you be not satisfied with her face on the new dollar. [laughter] and so was still a big joke. a big joke about [inaudible] >> to the presence of women on the court have a profound influence in terms of changing
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that? >> i think that now -- justice o'connor was her own lone woman on the court for 12 years. and when i was appointed there was -- they rushed through this [inaudible] and so we had to decide if we were be a part of it institution and during the years there were several that would respond to the questions.
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justice o'connor. and occasionally i am justice o'connor and she's justice ginsburg. [laughter] and i think that the last time was when i was all alone. the public by -- [inaudible] and hardly to be seen. but now i am more senior and i sit towards the middle and i have justice cagle on my left and justice sotomayor on my right and if we watch the proceedings it is quite a show. [laughter] and so it is part of this as we
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sit on the bench. we are very much part of the policy. >> people ask me sometimes when do you think that it will be enough? and my answer is when there are none. [laughter] [applause] >> some people are talking about this and there are only men in years past on this high court bench. >> just one last question. as you are about to answer
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questions from students that are about to start your legal career you have had such an extraordinary career, is there any advice you would like to give them as they are about to begin? >> everything that i've done, i think that it is great. i will say bad i don't think i would've had nearly the satisfaction if [inaudible] and yes, you need a job. but if you don't do something outside of yourself something that will make a difference and that will make life a little bit better for other people, you're
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not really a true professional. and near like a plumber that has a great skill. but if you think of yourself as a true professional you will take talent and the education that you have and you will use it to make things better. to make things better for other people in your local community in your state and your country in the world. >> i think about is powerful and inspiring and her career has been so inspiring for each of us. what you have done has been transformative. so we would like to take an opportunity to give you the chance to ask the justice questions. >> okay, while we are waiting.
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how does it feel to be an icon? [laughter] >> when all this started and i had to ask what is this as far as how things are going all these years. and now i know simply because it is notorious in some ways. [laughter] [applause] >> i think we have a question now. please say your name. >> justice ginsburg, thank you for coming, my name is chloe wiped, i am the president of the protective rights group here on campus. so with the hobby lobby rolling some of the rulings coming out of texas, how do you feel -- how do you feel about reproductive
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rights including abortion, parenting, and etc. >> are you asking if i'm pessimistic? well, i think it depends upon women of your age if you care about this. and there will never be a time when women of means will lack choice [inaudible] there will be states and a sizable number that will not go back to the way of was. at the time of that when there were no questions asked during the first trimester.
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in those states are not going to change. but what it means is a woman who can afford know no one will be able to decide for herself. but the women who won't have that choice nor a that doesn't make a lot of sense out there. so if women of this generation care about this issue we need to understand who will bear the brunt. [inaudible] so we will do a weekend for
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those less fortunate than we are and we will do what we can for those that make roughly the same choices in life. >> in the back [inaudible] >> researcher named. >> hello, my name is matt align westfield and i am a student. for those of us as women who have been inspired by you justice ginsburg, for opening the doors for women over the course of the last few decades there is another group of us were inspired to do work for women overseas. whether it is in afghanistan and throughout the middle east, i would like to hear from you what advice you might have to a place where they could look at this in
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the united states and in the western countries western countries and say that we are getting there. what advice would you give for lawyers who would like to dedicate their life to women's economic empowerment in developing countries? >> i would say don't preach to people how to do things. you should try to get to know the local community. to understand what their priorities are to help them accomplish -- and there has been some great strides made. and there are a lot of small businesses making [inaudible] and he was amazingly successful.
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they worked really hard and that is the main thing and in some ways they have no correspondence to their societies. whether you are working abroad and trying to work with the women in that culture. to accomplish what they see. [inaudible] and so i think that that is most helpful. >> another question? >> hello i am tyler, my question is you have kind of become known as the voice of the powerful dissent over the past few years.
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but if you could pick one decision over the past 10 years the you could wave a magic wand and overturned, what would it be and why? [laughter] >> i would have to say citizens united because i think that it the system [inaudible] money [inaudible] and it affects the judiciary as well and some 39 states where the judges are elected it costs millions of dollars to fund a campaign for the state supreme court. -- and it often says that the true symbol of the united states is not the bald eagle but the
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pendulum. and sometimes it can swing too far in the other direction. >> do you believe that it will swing back? >> i cannot say but one day we hope there aren't sensible restrictions on campaign financing and it's one of the hard things to explain when i go abroad and we don't ask all the questions. how do you allow people to have access -- those that have money to have access and make these decisions that other people don't have.
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and have you a system where the legislative district in the house and they said the low rate of voting in the [inaudible] the turnout is much higher and people have a sense why bother. it is a foregone conclusion. and we need to talk about how this affects all the people. and it is something that is important, important work left to be done. >> i think that we have time for one last question.
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>> while we are waiting, do you have any recommendations remap what can lawyers do for fun? [laughter] >> i've been told that i am a monotone, but i do opera. i like to go to the opera and i've been there three times. and i've also participated in the shakespeare theater as well. and i guess my favorite part was in henry the iv if i have a cameo appearance. it was just the part that i
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wanted. i wanted to say that this is the first thing that we do. [laughter] the first thing we do is scare all the lawyers. [laughter] >> now for the last question. >> we will see if i can follow that. >> thank you. my name is alexander and i would like to ask if you were in your role as a civil rights advocate what kind of case would you be looking to bring today and what sort of story would you look for it to talk to the court and what would you want to consider? >> i'm glad you asked that question. there's judiciary reactive institution that does not set its own agenda.
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there was public opinion and people have to want to change before it is going to be reflected in legislation or judiciary decisions. and the court has talked about this as well. in the 70s there was a dialogue back and forth between what the court would say and then there would be some changes and there would be more changes in the court and the legislature working in tandem at that time.
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but i would stress popular support that existed before that. and then while all this was going on in these cases were being brought to court the state was talking about the same [inaudible] and so people have to want to have a change before it will happen. >> i have to say that this has really been extraordinary. we have a small token of our
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appreciation and we have a plaque. from the graduating class to justice ruth bader ginsburg. i have to say that the wisdom we are all benefiting from i know that we are also grateful, i would like to leave us all in the round of applause for justice ginsburg. >> thank you so much. thank you. [applause] >> this is perfect. >> c-span2 provide live coverage of the u.s. then it flew preceding and key public policy events. every weekend booktv, the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors. c-span2 brought to you as a
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public service by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd like us on facebook and collis on twitter. >> former florida governor and potential candidate jeb bush was in detroit today and his remarks are next on c-span2. in a house panel looking at changing relations with cuba and we will show you the conversation with supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg. president obama's defense secretary nominee ashton carter took questions on capitol hill today at a press conference held there. [inaudible] decrease the defense budget to a least half of what it is now. that is that


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